Perfume Directory

Macassar (1980)
by Rochas


Macassar information

Year of Launch1980
Average Rating
(based on 74 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerNicolas Mamounas
PerfumerRoger Pellegrino
PackagingSerge Mansau
Parent CompanyInter Parfums
Parent Company at launchRoussel-Uclaf

About Macassar

Macassar is a masculine fragrance by Rochas. The scent was launched in 1980 and the fragrance was created by perfumers Roger Pellegrino and Nicolas Mamounas. The bottle was designed by Serge Mansau

Reviews of Macassar

Stardate 20190304:

A niche version of Bogart OMS. OMS is sharper and bitter. Galbanum in OMS is the culprit. Macassar is mellower, I guess they replaced galbanum with artemisia but I do smell some galbanum in Macassar.
Macassar has better development and drydown.
The bitterness in Macassar comes from "leather" vs Galbanum of OMS.

Both were released in 1980 and had the same perfumer. I guess Roger Pellegrino was just being lazy :)

I am not a fan of this or OMS.

04th March, 2019
The scent pyramid listed here is incorrect, the correct pyramid is this which applies to the first edition flacons that come in the grey box:

Head: absinthe, bay, ginger, green notes, artemesia, bergamot

Heart: pine tree needless, lignum vitae (palo santo), carnation, cedarwood, geranium, jasmine, patchouli, vetiver

Base: macassarwood, guaiacwood, sandalwood, tobacco blossom, musk, ambergris, oakmoss, leather, castoreum

The scent pyramid that's listed here is for the second edition flacons that came in a black box, that formula smells different then the first editons and is much lighter in color, the first edition juice is dark golden brown unlike the second edition which is dark yellow. The first editons are the only way to go although there was a slight reformulation to 'brighten' the composition which took place around 1986, that color of juice is a tad lighter with less leather, far more patchouli and musk but still just as highly pleasurable to adorn but has the advantage of far better note separation.

This scent doesn't belong from 1980 at all, Macassar doesn't smell like an 80's creation, this perfume is way ahead of it's time and is über elegant with pure class. Extremely unusual smelling, intoxicating and one of a kind that kinda resembles Chanel's Coco Noir to a degree with some added tobacco but a guy's version of course, never came across anything like this before, very dark and honestly makes you feel like a million bucks. This is a top notch perfume, you can just feel it when you're wearing it from beginning to end. There's nothing off putting about Macassar, it gets better and better. The opening hour is a tad weird and 'fuzzy' but after that when the patch and jasmine kick in, wowzers, can't explain it one bit. This is the best perfume from the 80's that I've experienced, ever, madly in love with this stuff but then again, I'm a patchouli whore. I could seriously write a book about this, Macassar blows my mind and I've smelled so much in my life.

This is a patchouli and leather perfume that has been executed perfectly, masterpiece material. The combination of jasmine and patchouli run throughout which are the main players underneath of oakmoss, musk, leather, amber, sandalwood and macassarwood, it's extremely difficult to describe. There's this to die for soapiness from the jasmine that's amazing beyond words which cuts through everything and balances this perfume. There is a phenomenal amber accord from the heart notes until the long, long drydown that recreates this sightly sweet olfactory illusion but the beauty of this scent is the jasmine/patch combo, beautiful beyond words. There's this very deep something in the base that hits the nose in just the right spot that's almost animalic in feel. Dries down to a soft white musk, suede, macassar wood, jasmine and patchouli on the most beautiful base of real oakmoss and castoreum that's as smooth as velvet, it's indescribable, really. I wish that I had the know how to describe this scent properly but I do not, the complexity of Macassar stumps me.

I've read all of the reviews everywhere on this masterful blend and am quite confused. Macassar is not a beast, yes it has amazing sillage and qualifies as strong if you bathe in it but this is elegance at its best, very well mannered and projects nicely and this is coming from an individual who is very weary about their perfume being too strong. There's nothing macho hairy chested about this, nothing, it's as smooth as butter with panache and quality that's to die for. Macassar is completely wearable and silky smooth. There's no gorilla in a suit here, none, sorry. Another amazing thing is that if you can get an atomized flacon, the atomizer itself is very well controlled so you can adjust your application accordingly from a tiny spritz to a full on wide spray. Two sprays for me and it's perfect for an easy 12 hours. Another thing is that you can always feel this scent, you don't become anosmic to it due to this composition being incredibly complex so it's always changing.

Superb lasting power that survives showers, honest. I've had this concoction come back to life again under Kouros of all perfumes which smelled like Kouros with suede underneath, in fact the wood in this perfume is so creamy in the far drydown that it comes across as oud once it's hit the far drydown. I could've sworn that there was some oud in this mix secretly, the wood is too creamy in the drydown with a wee bit of funk as well and if you've experienced the far drydown of some real agarwood then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about here. You really gotta be down with patchouli and leather to like this scent or you're going to hate it. I for one understand the hype and get the astronomical asking prices which are worth every penny in my opinion. The flacons themselves, atomized or splash are unique, handsome and a pleasure to look at.

I fell so hard for this masterpiece that I've sourced every vintage flacon that I could get my hands on which cost me a small fortune in the end and I have no regrets whatsoever, except for the money I've spent.
05th October, 2017
This smells like a combination of woods and bright florals. The woods smell well done. For the florals, I'm not surprised to see geranium listed. Geranium seems to add interesting character to fragrances. I also feel like this fragrance may be using a light touch of animalic fixatives to give the fragrance depth and complexity.

The base of this reminds me of Chanel Egoiste.
07th March, 2017
Oh my God this a killer!!!!!
The opening is overwhelming, savage, gives you headaches.
You can still smell it on your skin after 24 hours and this is not a joke.
When i have received my first bottle, it came in a nylon bag because it was leaking a bit. There were 2 drops of this perfume in the bag, not more.
The smell was so intense that i had to wash the bag with water again and again before throwing it away. The next day when i opened the garbage the smell was still there!!
Anyway, after the first i would say 2-3 hours of very intensive smell, follows a long phase of pepper/leather/woody pleasure.
This is probably the most virile, intense, masculine perfume i have ever smelled till today.
From me it gets 10/10 points
08th February, 2015
drseid Show all reviews
United States
Macassar opens with a slight to moderately sweet boozy fruit laden dark woody accord before transitioning gradually to its early heart. As the composition enters its early heart the boozy fruit gradually recedes, as smooth leather melds with the sweet dark woods supported by hints of patchouli and carnation. During the late dry-down traces of the leather and woods remain as the focus shifts to a mildly sweet amber and relatively clean musk duo that finish off the development. Projection is good but longevity below average at 6-7 hours on skin.

Macassar ebony is an extremely rare exotic wood. It has been years since I encountered the stuff so I couldn't possibly remember with any precision what it should smell like. What I *can* say is Macassar the perfume does immediately conjure up memories of my limited experience with ebony wood, especially the top notes when first applied on skin. The dark sweet natural woody accord mixes perfectly with the booze drenched fruit and the later developing leather to recreate that fond memory from years past, accurate or not. Throughout the leathery woods also lie just hints of carnation and a bitter green herbal accord that is likely artemisia derived. The top and middle aspects of the composition really do smell rather unique and quite lovely. The only slight mar on the near-perfect smelling composition save its sub-par longevity lies in its late dry-down as the leathery dark woods recede, slowly giving way to a well-done smooth amber and musk tandem that is somewhat less unique. The bottom line is the discontinued $350+ per 100ml bottle on the aftermarket Macassar is a very unique leathery woods focused composition that conjures up some amazing memories, earning it an "excellent" 4 star out of 5 rating. I can easily recommend the composition fragrance-wise, but the near insane aftermarket prices it commands make sampling mandatory before ponying up the cash for a full bottle. Maybe a mini is a better investment to whip out whenever one wants to recreate those fond memories of the past.
02nd November, 2014
Barbara Herman describes this as a "stunning leather/wood chypre."

Well, it certainly stuns, that's for sure. This is extremely harsh and unpleasant with the strength and power of undiluted turpentine, which it resembles.

The Patchouli and Cedar are overwhelming. Note below that Herman's notes for this scent are markedly different from those Basenotes provides above.

The bitter green artemesia opening mixed with pine is quickly followed by a sweet cedar heart, but the dry down which proceeds from that almost immediately is just awful to my nose (I have a 10 ml vintage decant). It's a wonder men who wore this were not stoned in the marketplace.

I've loved all the other Rochas fragrances I've tried: Madame Rochas, Mystere, Moustache, Tocade, Byzance, but this one is for me a clunker.

Top notes: Bergamot, Artemesia, Pine
Heart notes: Jasmine, Carnation, Patchouli, Geranium, Vetiver, Cedar
Base notes: Leather, Oakmoss, Castoreum, Amber, Olibanum, Musk

Practically a reference poster boy for the "Powerhouse Scent Award" of 1980.

First Edit: As I wear this, I find it comes down to pure, unadulterated harsh green vetiver and nothing else. Forget all the other ingredients listed - they could all be lies as far as I'm concerned. This is pure harsh vetiver. I can smell nothing else. I love vetiver, but could not recognize this initially under the other harsh notes until they had worn off.
29th August, 2014 (last edited: 03rd September, 2014)

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